There’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so…

Does Shakespeare’s famous maxim apply to head injury?

According to a new study, the answer is yes.

Researchers recently looked at patients with mild head injuries (90% of head injuries in Western countries are classified as “mild”) to see whether perceptions of illness contributed to the development and severity of post-concusional syndrome (PCS). 73 patients with mild head injuries participated in the study. They were monitored for PCS symptoms, post-traumatic stress symptoms, perceptions of illness, depression and anxiety. Scales were completed at the time of injury, and at 3-month follow-up.

The results: patients who believed their injuries would have a serious effect on their quality of life were at greater risk for post-concusional symptoms.

What are the implications for treatment? As the article states: “Recognition of the maladaptive cognitions that contribute to poor outcome of the sort suggested by this study will be helpful in the development of effective cognitive-behavioral interventions.”

Love is Never Enough

Say you’re having an argument with your partner, housemate or friend. What’s going through your mind during the interaction? How are you interpreting the other person’s remarks and behaviors? How is the other person reading what you say and do? And how often are you both reading each other’s signals correctly?

Cognitive Therapy (CT) is used for many disorders, but it’s also effective for everyday problems… including relationship problems. It can help people untangle the misinterpretations and distorted thinking that pop up, especially when expectations are high.

For instance, let’s say Adam and Laura, a married couple, are headed to a dinner party one night, hosted by one of Adam’s friends. Laura gets held up at work, and comes home late, thereby making both of them late for the dinner party. Adam gets disgruntled and thinks, she doesn’t care about me or my friends. She never manages to be on time and it just isn’t respectful. I’m sick of this. Meanwhile, Laura gets annoyed with Adam and thinks, he never asks what’s going on at work. All he cares about is his stupid social life. Can’t he see I’m stressed out?  Read more

All-male CBT workshops effective for men with insomnia

CBT has been successfully used to treat insomnia in both men and women, but according to a recent article men tend to seek treatment less often than women. Even when they consult their primary care providers, those providers are often unaware of CBT’s effectiveness and may have limited CBT resources to offer their patients.

To address this, researchers offered group CBT in the form of 1-day, all-male CBT workshops. The study ran six months, and drew 111 inquiries, some of them self-referred. The researchers noted that roughly half of the participants had not mentioned their insomnia to their primary care providers. In a six-week follow-up, the men “reported significant improvements in their sleep, as well as reductions in their depression.”

–Read more about CBT for insomnia.